Thursday, June 22, 2017

Real Estate Update

There have been no updates because there has been no real estate.  I spent the first few months after I got my license doing the normal new agent stuff.  I sent out letters and postcards to my neighborhood.  I hosted a couple of open houses for another agent.  (This is supposed to result in getting buyers who don't have agents yet to work with me.)  I tried helping another agent find tenants for his rental listing.  (The goal here is that potential renters either decide to become buyers, or over the long term become buyers in the future who will remember me.)  None of this resulted in anything.  Nothing.  I didn't even end up finding the renters who moved into the rental. 

During all of this, my personal life was going through some of the most down times maybe ever.  The worst of it hit just as about the time I was going to finally start cold calling people in my neighborhood. 

Now, it's summer and Noah is home.  And while I know there are tons of moms who make work and being a stay at home mom happen, apparently I'm not one of them. 


So I'm at a professional impasse.  I can't do anything for a couple more weeks until Noah is at least at summer school three hours a day.  But it's hard to be any kind of motivated when the meager effort I've put forth so far has been futile.  I'm not ready to call it quits yet.  I just need one thing to go right.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Conversation With Noah - Puppies

Our boy listens to everything.  Every.Thing. 

While putting him to bed, I told Ching she can talk with the vet about when to schedule Bloo's girl surgery.  (Bloo was in there with us being her little bit crazy self.)  Noah asked what we were talking about.  Now, not only do I have an extremely hard time lying to him, we also have a general policy of telling him the most truth we can for his age and such.  We simply said Bloo would have a little surgery so that she wouldn't have puppies in the future. 

Oh My.  First, it took a long time to clarify that there are currently no puppies in Bloo's tummy.  He's very familiar with babies in tummies because two of our friends have very recently had babies.  It was also difficult to explain "never in the future" because he's not great with time, and his "future" generally consists of stringing together tomorrows - ie. the day after tomorrow is "tomorrow tomorrow". 

Then he asks us Why Do You Hate Puppies??  And we busted up laughing.  He thinks puppies are wonderful and beautiful even when they come out the belly button and are a little bloody.  (Oh yes.)

At this point we really wished we'd been recording this whole conversation.  It was quite circular. 

Noah now wants to breed puppies so he can give them away. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

God is Good Part Two

How funny I never got around to publishing the previous post.  Probably so many reasons for that. 

I can't really explain the last four months at this time.  I have traveled from one of the darkest times in my life to one of at least renewed hope and optimism.  Ching has had her own journey during this time as well.  I'll leave that to her if she decides to share.  I tend to see these journeys at Divine intervention.  In the darkness I was able to reach out to a couple of friends just enough to ask for prayer. 

Anyway. 

The other night we took Noah to his first concert.  We've been listening to Clean Bandit since Rather Be was getting decent air play.  When Ching saw they'd be playing at DC's 9:30 Club we thought Noah would really enjoy it, even if it did fall on a school night!  Zara Lasson was the opening act, and while I didn't know her name, I had heard a few of her songs.  She's really good.  Noah seemed to like her music, he was sort of head banging and then dancing his little heart out.  It filled my heart with joy for him.  We didn't get to hear all of Clean Bandit's set, but that was ok. 

It was also refreshing to me to get out and hear some live music and recall all the shows we went to see back when we lived in Austin.  It did my heart and soul good. 

Back to the previous post and Ching's job situation.  It ended up even more convoluted than written.  The company that took a chance and hired her before they knew if they'd won the contract - did NOT win the contract.  Sigh.  Once again, though, the recruiters there were so cool and found Ching another job within the company.  Even better, it got her back to her previous salary.  Worse, it's now at CIA headquarters - which will be her worst commute yet.  Today was her last day at the location she's been at for almost a year and a half. 

Due to the transition period, she's been able to be home in the mornings and cook some breakfast and spend time with Noah.  We're really going to miss that come Monday. 

As for me and the real estate endeavor - I'll try to write about that later.  So far, nothing is happening.  But I'm going to keep at it a while longer.  Nothing in the past four months has been conducive to getting a lot done work wise.  We'll see how that is going forward. 

God is Good

I'm writing this Friday morning, inauguration day.  Not sure exactly when I'll be able to post it live.

Almost two weeks ago, Ching was called into her bosses office and essentially fired. As you know, it was very unexpected.  Ching was in an odd situation at work, even for a contractor.  She was hired by the contracting company and placed in office X.  Office X, not long after she started working for them, said "hey, office Y across the hall needs someone with your skills, why don't you work a few days a week for them."  So she was "owned by office X, but doing most of her work for office Y.  Office X then had a change in the contract, which made Ching no longer eligible to work for them, so they had to let her go.  That left office Y without her as well.  They had no idea she was going to be let go.

This started a series of actions on the part of several people to get her a contract under office Y - to get her back.  That never happens in the contracting world.

With the presidential transition and other factors, Ching was really feeling this job search would be different than the others.  It had been a few years since she'd even had to look for a job, as one would end, another company would already be in contact trying to hire her.

We've been so blessed in regards to Ching's work.  It sometimes stresses her out, but she's been able to provide so very well for our family.

As I've mentioned, back in September, due to my optimism for the country, and on a word from God I'd read many times from the preacher I followed that God was going to give favor unprecedented to His people, I decided to give this real estate career a try.  This whole process has been a real exercise in patience.  I had a couple of really down weeks after the holidays, and then bam, Ching lost her job.
So, for the past week or so my thought has been, God hasn't brought us this far to abandon us now.

Yesterday, Ching got a call from her contracting company boss saying everyone was working on getting her moved to a contract for office Y.  Wow.  They had already agreed to pay her two weeks severance (through the 24th) - that also doesn't usually happen.  Her boss said they'd keep paying her until they worked out the new contract, which could take a week or two.

Basically, her being fired turned into a paid vacation.

She really needed this break.  She's gotten to rest, exercise, and spend some great time with Noah.  But, she's also seen just how valued she was at her job.  And her line of work can often feel pretty thankless. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Contracting Cycle

Last Monday night, Ching got a call from her boss boss.  (There are too many layers of management in contracting.)  He asked her to meet with him the next morning.  He left the impression there might be some small matter to address.  Nope, she was let go from her job.  Some higher up somewhere re-wrote the contract so that she was no longer qualified to do the job she was doing.  It happens.

In the ten years she's been a contractor, she's never had a job for two years.  Sometimes it's by choice, sometimes not.  This time really caught us by surprise. 

We have a decent emergency fund for times like this, but it probably isn't what it should be due to my real estate stuff and new stairs.  (We really didn't see this coming.)

As for my real estate stuff...  ugh.  I'm still waiting on two things to be able to actually list a house for sale or to represent a buyer.  Not that either of those things look likely to happen soon.  We'll see.

Ching was feeling a little burnt out and overly tired, this is never the ideal way to get a break.

Noah is just happy to have Ma home more, taking him to school and picking him up.  We've tried explaining it to him, but it's just as well, he doesn't really understand.

Sunday, we go get the new puppy - so that's something fun!


Friday, November 18, 2016

A New Career

Back in early September, I asked my cousin, Dean, what it would take to get my real estate license, and what the job is really like.  Shortly thereafter, I started down this path.  It's definitely been a one thing, one step at a time journey.  I took an online class, then I had to take a final for that.  Due to snafus, the test took a little longer to get scheduled and done than I liked.  Then I had to register and take the actual licensing test.  I passed that yesterday.  Thank God I'm good at classes and test taking.

The other process involved finding a company to work with.  That's been a little tougher.  There are two very different compensation approaches.  But, as a complete newbie, I know that going with the more training/less money is the smart move.

Today we sent off the official license application.  Week after next I'll be signing all the paperwork to actually partner with a broker.

Throughout the process so far, it's been a roller coaster ride.  Between the stress of getting this preliminary stuff done, there was the stress of the election.  It actually ended up that I took the class final the morning after the election.  Yeah, that was some smart planning on my part!

So, at this stage of life I'm starting something entirely new.  I've said for over a year now that I'm optimistic about life and the future.  This is me trying to put that into a tangible form.

My brain still makes all of this a roller coaster ride.  What if I suck?  What if I never sell a house?  Blah blah blah.  But the other side is the optimism, that I can really do well at this.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Grade

This is what I wrote this time last year. 

Today is the same and different.  The same in that I'm going to miss him during the day.  We've been together almost 24/7 the past month.  Towards the end of summer it was a little iffy, maybe we were both a little bored.  Different in that he and I have kindergarten under our belts, we've got this school routine down already.  Thankfully he's still excited about going to school. Although he's not clear on why there are different kids in his class this year.  That's a hard one to explain.  

This year he has a Korean woman for his teacher.  I know it's supposed to make a big difference in kids' lives that they have role models and teachers and such that look like they do.  We don't really know how much it matters to Noah.  There's so much diversity in our world already.  She's very positive and optimistic about getting all the kids reading this year.  We'll see how our boy does.